Irrigation- Definitions, Objectives and Water Resources of India and Chhattisgarh: Reservoir, Dam, River, Borewell, Pond

Water resources in India
A water catchment area

Reservoir, Dam, Pond, Borewell for Irrigation and Fish Farming: Major resources of water have been discussed briefly.

Definitions of Irrigation

“Irrigation is an artificial mechanism of water supply to standing plant-crops. It is a process in which plants are watered using different artificial methods.”

There are different definitions of irrigation given by different people and organizations. The word and the sentence included in the definition are different from each other but the theory of irrigation is same. The definitions related with irrigation are as follows:

  1. Irrigation is the application of controlled amounts of water to plants at needed intervals. Irrigation helps to grow agricultural crops, maintain landscapes and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of less than average rainfall. {-WIKIPEDIA (REF. 01) }
  2. The supply of water to land or crops to help growth, typically by means of channels. {-OXFORDDICTIONARIES (REF. 02}

The artificial measures of irrigation include different traditional and advanced methods. Canal, pond and river streams etc., are the traditional ways of irrigation. Advanced irrigation systems such as sprinkler and drip irrigations are highly efficient irrigation system.

Objectives, Importance and Requirements of Irrigation

  1. Plant water requirement: Plants are living organisms, and require water to complete their biological and physiological mechanism. A typical plant’s body is made of 90% of water. Plant starts to show various disorders with less or no water. Water is the integrate part of a plant. So the supply of water through irrigation becomes very necessary to the plants.
  2. Maintaining soil moisture: Soil moisture is an important feature of soil. Like plant, water is also essential for micro-organisms. Soil moisture increases microbial activities in the micro-environment of soil. No soil moisture means no sign of life for economical field crops. Certain level of soil moisture is necessary to maintain soil fertility. Reduced crop yield and economical losses are the consequences of lack of soil moisture in agriculture land.
  3. Control and Prevention of Insect-pests: Some group of insets-pests can be controlled and prevented by irrigation. Although, water supplied to the plant by irrigation can be the vector of certain pathogen. So, the timely use of water as irrigation can prevent some major insect-pests e.g., termites. Heavy irrigation can destroy the eggs and larvae of different pests.
  4. Critical Stage of Plant Water Requirement: Some crops require water at their critical stage. In wheat an irrigation is immediately required by the farmers at 21 first day of standing crop which is known as CRI stage. Lack of water in critical stage results in heavy yield loss.
  5. Soil amendment: Highly saline agriculture land can be converted into normal land by irrigation. Flooding through flood irrigation of saline land help in reducing the salinity of the soil.
  6. Fertilizer management: Use of fertilizer in dry land shows adverse effect on plant. Example- high dose of urea can burn a plant completely in the absent of moisture in the field.

Major Water Resources

Water resources can be divided into two categories:

  1. Natural water resources: Lake, river, streams etc.
  2. Man-made water resources: Reservoir, dams, wells, ponds etc.


Lakes are natural resource of water. A huge lake like Caspian sea, Black sea are salty in nature. Being salty their water is not suitable for irrigation. Although fresh water lake are major water resource in the world.

Table 01. Reservoirs in India.

S.N.Name of lakeRemarks
1.Caspian3.7 lake sq. km, Saline water lake.
2.Superior82.10 thousand sq. km, fresh water lake.
3.Michigan58.00 thousand sq. km, fresh water lake.
4.Victoria68.97 thousand sq. km, fresh water lake.
5.Baikal31.7 thousand sq. km, fresh water lake.

Use of water: water of lake is used for extensive fish farming, irrigation etc.


Reservoir is a large water holding body. All big dams are reservoir. Reservoir is a very important part of watershed development program.

Table 02. Reservoirs in India.

S.N.Name of reservoirRemarks
1.Lake Kariba6.6 Lakh sq. km
2.Lake Volta8,502 sq. km
3.Lake Nasser5,250 sq. km, Egypt

Use of water: water catchment area of a reservoir is extended to many square km. Water of some reservoir is used both directly and indirectly in agriculture. Directly it is used in the form of irritation. Indirectly, electricity produced from water reservoir is used for different farm mechanism.


Small dams are very useful in agriculture. It can be formed across any little river, stream and small natural canal.

Table 03. Reservoirs in India.

S.N.Name of damRemarks
1.Tarbela damPakistan
2.Oahe damUSA


Wells are very important for irrigation of horticulture crops. Ring wells and other wells are major source of home garden as well as field crops.


Mahanadi river, Chadrapur

Big dams and reservoirs are formed across the river. River is major and only source of irrigation water for in river bed cultivation.

Table 04. Reservoirs in India.

S.N.Name of riverRemarks
1.Nile6,650 km
2.Amazon6,400 km
4.Congo4,700 km
6.Brahmaputra3,848 km


A pond is small water body. Preliminary, it is used as fish pond and as a water source for agriculture field crop.



Ground water resource is easily accessible through borewell. It is largely used as drinking water and irrigation water for agriculture

Water Resources of India and Chhattisgarh

River and streams, lake and reservoir, pond and well, borewells and dams are the major source of water in India and Chhattisgarh.

Water Resources of India


Table 05. Reservoirs in India.

S.N.Name of lakeStateAreaRemarks
1.ChilikaOdisha1.1 sq. kmBrackish water
2.SambharRajsthan230 sq. kmSalt production

Use of lake water in India:

  1. Irrigation-
  2. Aquaculture-
  3. Electricity-


Table 06. Reservoirs in India.

S. N. Name of Reservior State
1.Heerakud DamOdisha
2.Bhakhda NangalIrrigation, electricity

Use of water of reservoir in India:

  1. Irrigation-
  2. Aquaculture-
  3. Electricity-


Use of well in India:

  1. Irrigation-
  2. Fish farming-
  3. Drinking water-


Table 07. Reservoirs in India.

S.N.Name of riverRemarks
1.GangaResponsible for Ganga plain the most fertile land in India.
2.NarmadaRiver of central India.
3.MahanadiForms central plains of Chhattisgarh.
4.BrahmaputraRiver of North-East India.
5.Satlaj, Vyash, JhelamCause of prosperity of Punjab and Haryana.

Use of river water in India:

  1. Irrigation.
  2. Dam and reservoir-
  3. Driking water-


Use of pod water in India:

  1. Irrigation-
  2. Fish farming-


Use of ground water in India:

  1. Irrigation-
  2. Drinking water

Water Resources of Chhattisgarh


Table 08. Reservoirs in India.

S.N.Name of Res./damRemarksPlace
1.GangarelIrrigation and electricity.Kanker
2.Mahanadi ProjectBiggest project.Mahanadi central
3.KodarIrrigation through canal.Mahasamund

Use of dam: Fish farming, irrigation and electricity.


Well is main source of drinking water and irrigation water for horticultural crops in India.


Chhattisgarh is rich in natural resources as well as water resources.

Table 09. Reservoirs in India.

S.N.Name of riverRemarks
1.MahanadiCentral plain is known as ‘Rice Bowl’.
2.IndrawatiLifeline of C.G.
3.Seonath riverLongest river in C.G.
4.Rihand riverRihand project
5.Eb-MainiMajor water source for Heerakud dam


Number of pond in Chhattisgarh is high due to a governmental scheme which is known as ‘Jogi Dabhari Yojna’, launched by the first CM of Chhattisgarh. Major activity in pond is fish farming, and water is applied in horticultural crops.


Number of borewell is high in plain area of Chhattisgarh. More than 90% irrigation is covered by borewell. Average number of borewell is nearly one borewell for each five separate plots. Continuous irrigation can be seen during all cropping season. Level of ground water is decreasing rapidly. In urban area water is difficult to be found even after 500 feet.


Lake,Rivers, pond and reservoirs are the main water resources of India. Large saline water body of different country can be transformed into fresh water for various agriculture and commercial uses.



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